Having been a childminder with up to 6 kids with me at a time and having two kids of my own, here's a list of the 6 best local businesses to visit to refuel and where a double buggy and its occupants can expect a warm welcome...
Lewisham Arts Café is a real favourite for the whole family, set in Lee’s Manor Park, the café is a hub for local musicians and artists and most weekends you will find some wonderful event happening. In recent months we have attended comic drawing workshops, an amazing 3 hour concert of noise, and have popped in as regulars, just to have a coffee and a cake. The Arts Café has a great bookable space that can be used for birthday parties and it backs onto a lovely little enclosed playground. Fred and Banu who run it are real supporters of the local community and you never feel out of place bringing children along - they are very well catered for, and the welcome is genuine. You can get 10% off with your South London Club Card
I first came across the Good Hope Place Ladywell when we went to a ‘Sing a Long Sally’ class. It’s a fantastic contemporary space, and since our first very toddler orientated visit (which they loved!), I have been back for more grown-up meetings and some rather delicious coffee and lunch. Alongside the indoor cafe there is a nice outdoor area where you can sit and watch the world go by. Keep an eye out for pop up events such as wine and cheese evenings. You can also get 10% off with your South London Club Card
Fred’s of Brockley (not to be confused with the recently opened one in Forest Gate!) is a little haven that we first came across on an unexpectedly snowy day. We had gone out for a wander but without a buggy as the three year old was certain he would walk. As soon as it started snowing he refused to move so into Fred’s we went! We were delighted to be met by the friendliest of staff and a really delicious lunch menu with some extremely large cake to follow. At the back of Fred’s is a lovely decked area, just perfect for the summer months with a large wooden bear for the youngsters to admire. Along with the food there was a selection of children’s books and games which bought us just enough time to eat our food. You can get 10% off with your South London Club Card too!
Café Inn is the newest location on my list - it is perfectly situated for lunch after a session in the library or a busy morning shopping in Lewisham Town Centre. It has a children’s section on the menu with burgers, sausages and pasta options and the staff were very understanding of our requests for several hundred bottles of ketchup. Buggies are welcome and we were not the only young ones in there. It’s a really great addition to the High Street. You can also get 10% off with your South London Club Card!
We are lucky enough to live within walking distance to Truly Splendid. Based at the Abbotshall Community Centre in Catford it’s a really great addition to the local eateries. Abbotshall run countless baby and toddler events so it’s no surprise that the team at Truly Splendid have gone out of their way to welcome little ones. There are grazing plates, sandwich options and lots of health snacks on offer. The café has been decorated in a wonderful vintage style and has a small play-area in the corner so the kids are never bored. They also offer some wonderful cream teas, the café is beloved of the local community and you often see three generations sitting down together for lunch. Usually once we have finished we have a run round the field or visit the little nature garden just next door. You can get 10% off over purchases of £10 with your South London Club Card.
Little Nan's is known to most as a rather wonderful quirky bar, but I have added this to the list as it’s been a real life saver in the past when out shopping in Catford. My children absolutely love stopping there for a ‘cocktail’. The fantastic décor is a winner as are the hats and other dress-up opportunities. Children are very welcome during day time hours but in the evening it is an amazing place to hang out with friends and celebrate with a teapot or two of their amazingly named cocktails. You can get 15% off cocktails with your South London Club Card!
Written by Alison Cresswell. Alison run the local community page Lewisham Lowdown and is a freelance Social Media Manager , blogger and mum of two. If you are interested in help or advice with your social media you can contact Alison by e mail at Lewishamlowdown@gmail.com or you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @LewishamLowdown